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January 19, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

The Future of the Postal Service
Last Featured: 10/8/2007

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

In business since 1775 by decree of the Second Continental Congress, the U.S. Postal Service is one of the most trusted branches of the federal government. It delivers more than 700 million pieces of mail each day and delivers to almost two million new addresses each year. But first class mail is down and email is up. Will the postal service be able to sustain its mission of universal service in the 21st century? On this edition of Justice Talking we take a look at the future of the postal service.

Portrait of a Letter Carrier
Gaius Jenkins has been a letter carrier for over 20 years. He tells us why his job is about more than just delivering the mail.

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The Postmaster General
Host Margot Adler talks with the postmaster general about the challenges facing the postal service.

Jack Potter was named the 72nd postmaster general of the United States on June 1, 2001. He serves on the Postal Service Board of Governors and is also vice chairman of the International Post Corporation, an association of 23 national postal operators.

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New Postal Rates for Periodicals
New postal prices for periodicals went into effect this summer. Francesca Rheannon reports that the changes have provoked alarm among some publishers of smaller magazines who argue they’re being hit with rate hikes that could put them out of business.

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Debate: The Future of the Postal Service
Host Margot Adler speaks with Christopher Shaw and Robert Schrum about the future of the postal service. Should we end its monopoly on first class mail?

Christopher Shaw is the author of the book Preserving the People's Post Office. He was formerly a project director at the Center for Study of Responsive Law, where he worked on issues related to government services, health and safety regulations, and electoral reform.

Robert Schrum is a fellow at the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Virginia, where he is involved in postal reform research. He previously served on the staff of Congressman Steve Buyer. Schrum's writings have appeared in USA Today, the Orange County Register, the Omaha World-Herald and other publications.

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Direct Mail
Host Margot Adler talks with a retailer about their use of direct mail and why it’s worth it to them to send out a hundred thousand mailings a month.

Mark Rudnick is vice president of marketing for Aaron’s, which offers home furnishings, appliances and electronics for sale or lease.

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Junk Mail
Host Margot Adler speaks with Sander DeVries, who started an organization to fight junk mail. He calls junk mail wasteful and an environmental hazard.

Sander DeVries is the co-founder of 41pounds.org, named for the average amount of advertising mail an American receives a year.

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The General Delivery Window, a Lifeline for the Homeless
At most post offices, the "general delivery" section is for travelers and new residents. At New York City's main post office on Eighth Avenue, it's mostly for the homeless, who need an address to get letters and assistance checks.

This story was first broadcast on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
U.S. Constitution Article 1, Section 8 This section grants congress the authority to create the Postal Service.
The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act
TITLE 39 - Postal Service, The United States Code
United States Postal Service
Report of the President's Commission on the United States Postal Service (Acrobat PDF)
Postal Regulatory Commission
American Postal Workers Union
National Postal Museum
Free Press - Postal Rate Hikes
Cato: Is It Time to Privatize the Postal Service?
April 4, 1884, New York Times: A Proposed Law to Prohibit Private Postal Service
Elements of E-Mail Style: Communicate Effectively via Electronic Mail
by David Angell & Brent Heslop
Mail at the Millennium: Will the Postal Service Go Private?
by Edward Hudgins
Saving the Mail: How to Solve the Problems of the U.S. Postal Service
by Rick Geddes
Regulation of the Entertainment Industry
The FCC's New Rules for Media Ownership
Pornography and the First Amendment