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Office Hours

It’s not all U.S tax dollars being spent on empty downtown buildings

We were in the grocery line today and a man two places down from us pointed to the morning paper.

“This story shows why this country is so screwed up,” he said. He pointed to the recent SR story about the U.S. Postal Service paying $490,000 per year for empty space on the sixth floor of the downtown Crescent Court building.

“It's just crazy how they're wasting our money,” he railed.

We told him, no, the money for the lease comes out of the USPS operating budget, which is, in general, self-sustaining (or should be, if people used more services and bought more stamps).

In that light, we wanted to offer some links for further reading. The USPS is at a crucial moment in its history, and unless there's a government bailout, the level of services people are used to will change dramatically.

One good starting point is a collection at Washingtonpost.com, entitled “Our Shrinking Postal Service.” It's a worthwhile read. 

The graphic above, which comes from Washingtonpost.com, shows the location of roughly 3,700 possible post offices the USPS is looking to close in the next two years.

Another good summary is this article which appeared recently in the New York Times.


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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on spokesman.com and its social networking accounts.

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