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While I am not a fan of Amazon, I do use Amazon Fresh from time to time mostly because I live in a sanctuary city and in a neighborhood so full of immigrants that the majority of products here, agricultural products, groceries, gray market items and otherwise this American finds unappealing and a lot of which I have find unpalatable.

Yes, I am aware that one can find these products almost everywhere in the USA but in sanctuary cities, we are inundated with these items of which I have also questioned the quality.

Often one has to travel a distance to find American agricultural products, groceries, etc. palatable to my American taste buds and preferences which is why it is easier and less time consuming to order from Amazon Fresh. I also enjoy the idea that I am able to order, at least until recently, from small American businesses. [Instacart is a whole different story.]

A few weeks ago, the media was up in arms when President Donald Trump called out Amazon and true to form, they lambasted the President and accused him of bias towards Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post.

While the the President may be justifiably biased towards the fake news, Washington Post, I realized yesterday that there is more here than meets the eye.

In March, President Trump tweeted, “I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!”

Why is the U.S. Postal Service failing?

Source: Pixabay

Trump then signed an executive order creating a task force chaired by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to study the U.S. Postal Service business model.  Mnuchin has 120 days to submit report and solutions.

Excerpt:

The USPS is on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout.  This finding is supported by the following considerations, among others:

(i)    the USPS has incurred $65 billion of cumulative losses since the 2007-2009 recession;

(ii)   the USPS has been unable to make payments required by law for its retiree health benefit obligations, which totaled more than $38 billion at the end of fiscal year 2017; and

(iii)  the Government Accountability Office has had the USPS on its high-risk list since 2009 because of a serious financial situation that puts the USPS mission of providing prompt, reliable, and efficient universal mail services at risk[…]

Are the chickens finally returning home to roost.  USPS for decades has been accountable to no one.  Speaking for myself and my neighbors, USPS has proven itself to be courtesy of its workers, more of a headache than an asset which I am sure accounts for the decline in service.

It shall be the task force’s job to:

Sec. 3.  Evaluation.  The Task Force shall conduct a thorough evaluation of the operations and finances of the USPS, including:

(i)    the expansion and pricing of the package delivery market and the USPS’s role in competitive markets;

(ii)   the decline in mail volume and its implications for USPS self-financing and the USPS monopoly over letter delivery and mailboxes;

(iii)  the definition of the “universal service obligation” in light of changes in technology, e‑commerce, marketing practices, and customer needs;

(iv)   the USPS role in the U.S. economy and in rural areas, communities, and small towns; and

(v)    the state of the USPS business model, workforce, operations, costs, and pricing.

Sec. 4.  Recommendations for Reform.  The Task Force shall develop recommendations for administrative and legislative reforms to the United States postal system[…]

Source: Executive Order on the Task Force on the United States Postal System (WhiteHouse.gov)

Okay, by now, you have figured out that I have very little love for USPS. Even worse, living in Progressive as heck, New York City, I find myself wondering from time to time whether or not I have been flagged based on my mail which exposes my political affiliation.

I used to have a friendly relationship (surprising) with my latest USPS mail person and USPS truck driver up until the 2016 presidential election and when I began receiving mail from “Donald J. Trump (and Melania Trump),” the NRA and a few other Conservative organizations.

Or it could be that I am paranoid?  Maybe my complaints to the United States Postmaster General that hit home or a combination of all of the above?

And now — the meat and potatoes — Amazon Fresh

Last Friday, I ordered groceries through Amazon Fresh.  The order was “attended delivery” between 10 a.m. and noon.  Because of a mishap that occurred a few months ago, I included a note to delivery my groceries to my apartment door not the lobby of my 48 family apartment building (long story).

Saturday morning:

At 10:20 a.m., the intercom rang.  No problem.  Right on time but you will never guess in 100 years who delivered my groceries.

The United State Post Office!

I thought that I was hearing things when the party on the other end of the intercom said “Post Office.”  Assuming my order from Macy’s was several days early, I paid it no attention so I buzzed the young lady into the building.

I open my apartment door only to see a young woman carrying shopping bags and three green Amazon Fresh totes of  groceries.  While observing her, I notice her uniform and immediately think to myself, “hmm, that looks like a USPS uniform.  Is she moonlighting?”

But then she pulls out the USPS scanner and begins to scan the label on the side of the green totes at which point I ask her if she works for USPS.  The young lady laughed confirming that she was from USPS.  Upon further questioning, she tells me that USPS is now delivering Amazon Fresh groceries.

Just ducky, huh?  Now the USPS will have yet another reason to hate me, lol.

No wonder Trump is not thrilled with Amazon.  I suspect, he is not alone.  Until now, my groceries from Amazon Fresh was always delivered by someone driving an Amazon Fresh truck or van.  This is a first.

Does this mean that the many delivery drivers tasked with delivering Amazon Fresh groceries and other products are now out of a job and since Jeff Bezos appears to be co-opting various areas of commerce, will he now co-opt USPS?

What kind of contract does USPS have with Amazon? Backroom deals? How about an audit since I trust neither Bezos or USPS? Oh, and (i) how does cost and savings filter down to the consumer; and (ii) who is going to pick up these green totes that consumers have to jump through hoops to get picked up?

Most of the time, during delivery, I have had the Amazon delivery person to empty the totes and take them back with him or her to avoid a repeat of past drama.  I can only imagine USPS’s response at such a request.

On a personal note, this American has to find another alternative.  I think that I will begin with going through past Amazon orders to make a list of small businesses from whom I purchased items through Amazon and do business with them directly.

My beef with Amazon is that they appear to be cutting small businesses out of the loop.  I am considering cutting the middle man (Amazon) out.  Amazon Fresh deliveries via USPS?  I don’t know about that.

Rant over, now it’s your turn. How about you?