Letters to the editor
Editorial off the mark
I read the editorial by Richard Shaw about the USPS/Valassis deal (Sun Adovocate, Sept. 13) and did a little research. In this NY Times link. It says that Valassis will need to increase it's business by 1,000,000 new mailings in 12 months to get the three year deal or pay a fine.
The editorial also states that "the deal would not include ads from regional or local advertisers." It also says that the deal will be "limited to ads for durable and semidurable goods, including apparel and appliances, by national retailers with stores in the 30 or more states where Valassis operates.
So I don't know how this deal effects "our Sun Advocate."
I understand the papers dilemma, but its no different than others face in this country, or Carbon County for that matter.
The U.S. Postal Service is a government agency that has been around since the beginning of this country. It's roots go back to the U.S. Constitution. Is it a bloated and poor run agency that relies on government subsidies? Yes. Does it need to handle it's business better? Yes. Does it need to shut down offices and lay off workers? No! Not in this economy. It needs to survive and it's trying to do that buy acting like a private business and giving its biggest customers discounts. Mr. Shaw would agree that isn't a new thing, and I would venture to guess that he would also agree its a very "free market" move.
I see two things that motivate Mr. Shaw's attitude. First, the whole "Government shouldn't be in our lives as much as it is" train of thought and second, he is upset because he feels it will hurt the newspaper directly.
I also see him going over board. A common thread would be how coal mining has changed since the advent of the longwall technique of mining which made it easier to mine massive tonnage with a smaller work force. Also, when Reagan got into office in 1980 the first thing he did was make it easier for U.S. business to buy foreign coal. That was government meddling and it affected central eastern Utah coal mining greatly. And don't even get me started on the anti-union movement that gave birth to guys like Bob Murray. Many said, "Hey, the times....they are a changin" and I saw men like my father and uncles in the mines and the Rio Grand railroad lose their jobs.
I could say the same for the Sun Advocate. Online readership among news papers across the board is up, I know that and many newspapers have had to deal with that adjustment. I have a feeling that many of those readers who complain about the mail are older and don't have computers. Soon they will be gone and my guess is so will the Sun Advocate's mailing out paper editions.
Which leads back to the Post Office. I know people are not using mail near as much as the used to so that is a big problem for the USPS. Also the cost of fuel hurts. But, bottom line ......I guess I thought he went too far into "the sky is falling" mode and pretty much copied the National Newspaper of America's statement.
I read the Sun Advocate online. I don't get it mailed to me. I don't need local inserts. I'm 45 and most everything I do is online. I know its even more for folks younger than me. My advice would be to start charging a nominal fee for the online version make it easy to pay for.
Again, I really don't see how this will affect the paper in a major way. Yelling "the Government is on our backs" in Central Eastern Utah is like me yelling "How about those Cowboys" at one of my local gigs.