I am going to tell you up front that this post is a little whacky but then again that is the type of person I am. I am always asking questions as to why things are the way they are. This idea is a paradigm shift that very likely will never happen.
The twentieth century American dream was always about home ownership. We all dreamed of putting down a small deposit on our own place and then paying a mortgage on it for the next thirty some years until it is finally ours. The problem with that nowadays is that we find ourselves changing jobs every half dozen years or sometimes more often and those future jobs are likely not be in the area where we currently live. When that is the case then home ownership is more of an anchor than a blessing. More…
Source: AT&T sheds directories, advertising business | Mobile – CNET News.
The assets that AT&T is selling include the Yellow Pages directories…
Things are in constant change now days. Sometime the pace is dizzying indeed. Of course telecommunications is one of those things that is probably changing the fastest.
- In the 1960s you could find a public telephone booth on almost any city street.
- In the 1970s the Trimline telephone was being made at a rate of one million a week. Picture phones were available but at a $2,000 per month rate.
- In the 1980s almost every household finally had a landline telephone and a very few had a “mobile” telephone which at time cost around $300 per month.
- In the 1990s cordless phones were replacing the corded version in the typical American home and cellular service was just beginning.
- By 2000 cellular phones were becoming common place.
- By 2020 it is speculated that the country will be pretty much converted from landline to completely cellular service.
So I guess AT&T giving up its Yellow Pages is just a minor nick in the change but it just won’t seem the same without “letting my fingers walk through the Yellow Pages. But then again, I don’t think I have opened last years version of the Yellow Pages. I now look up everything on the Internet.
Goodbye my Yellow Pages friend. You served me well but your time like so many things now days has come to an end.
Source: The U.S. Postal Service Nears Collapse – BusinessWeek.
Too bad the person who wrote this article didn’t snail mail it to everyone. It is seven pages long so it would have brought in big bucks to the USPS. Seriously though (at least as serious as I get on this blog) the postal service is in pretty deep trouble and it is not going to go away. I am usually pretty tolerant of government agencies but this one needs to reign back its scale and look to other ways to provide its services.
There are just too many post offices around that do little or no business. As I mentioned before there is a post office in a little town near us where it is now the only business in a town of about two dozen houses. Most small town post offices could easily be incorporated into some existing businesses such as the local thrift/gas store. I can remember when I was a kid that the post office was in the local food store. As the article mentions the USPS now handles more junk mail than first class and that will continue to be a downward trend for them. I like almost everyone else pay most of my bills on-line now and of course those personal letters to past family and friends has long since been replaced by email, Facebook, and other such services. I can see the time in the not too distant future where first class mail, like buggy whips, will basically cease to exist being totally replaced by its electronic cousin. About the only thing that is keeping that from happening today is the lack of adequate Internet connections to those of us who live in rural America.
This is yet another instance where we can learn from our neighbors around the world. As mentioned in the above article most of the European postal systems have already morphed into quite different services. Many are quite profitable and something we could easily mirror here in the U.S. One of the basic problems with our current system is the postal union seems to be against any significant change. I am definitely a person who believes in workers being collectively represented but that does not mean they must resist change, even changes that will reduce their ranks, when it is obvious that is what is needed. I know we need more middle class jobs here in the U.S. but stubbornly hanging on to ones that have outlived their usefulness is not the answer to this problem.
But what do I know….