The Daily Yonder's coverage of rural economic issues, including workforce development and the future of work in rural America, is supported in part by Microsoft.
The Postal Service plans to close 413 post offices. You can see the list here. Just from a glance (and we should do a real analysis), the list of post offices scheduled to die doesn’t appear to be particularly rural. Glancing at the Texas list, for example, none of the six offices are in small towns. Most of the cuts are in California, followed by Florida, Ohio and New York. Lots of states — Montana, Mississippi, Colorado, Minnesota — aren’t losing a single post office.
The list was longer, but the Postal Service spared 200 sites. The Washington Post reports that the earlier list predictably “launched a firestorm of outrage from those who live in affected neighborhoods, as well as their congressional representatives.” This is all considerably less than the 1,000 post offices that the Postal Service had earlier thought might be closed.
Al Tompkins at the Poynter Institute notes that a position paper issued by the National League of Postmasters argued in favor of keeping rural post offices: “Rural post offices are the backbone of rural America and are an integral part of the social, political, and economic fabric of small towns. They are the glue that holds the nation’s rural communities together. If a rural post office disappears, the town often disappears. Rural customers are not second-class citizens; they deserve access to the postal services that citizens in big cities enjoy.”