Doc likes cutting back on unwanted mail as much as the next guy, but then I also enjoy getting material in the mail that is of interest to me even if I didn't ask for it. So I've been closely following a number of initiatives across America to beef up various Do Not Mail laws. One group that does a good job advocating against such laws is Mail Moves America.
Here are a few considerations when looking at the topic:
- Do Not Mail proposals would cost American jobs. More than 3.5 million Americans have jobs that are directly or indirectly supported by advertising mail. Banning advertising mail would be a bad idea in good economic times, but it is a terrible idea during the economic crises currently facing the United States.
- Do Not Mail proposals would damage the economy further. In 2008, advertising mail contributed more than $702 billion in increased sales to the economy.
- Do Not Mail proposals would hurt small businesses. More than 300,000 American small businesses rely on advertising mail to reach potential customers. For small mom and pop shops, florists, mechanics, landscapers and corner coffee shops, advertising mail is often the only affordable and effective means of advertising available.
- Do Not Mail proposals would hurt your postal service. According to U.S. Postal Service estimates, a federal Do Not Mail statute could cost the postal service between $4 billion and $10 billion annually. To make up for that lost revenue, the Postal Service would need to dramatically raise postal rates, cut jobs or cut back on services.
- Do Not Mail proposals would not save trees. Nearly all paper used for advertising mail is generated from sustainably managed forests where trees are planted, harvested and re-planted solely for the use of paper and wood products. Thanks to these forestry practices, there are more forests in the United States today than there were 50 years ago.
- Do Not Mail proposals are unnecessary. There are plenty of free options already available to Americans wishing to reduce their advertising mail.
Obvious Mail Moves America has its own agenda, but many of the points are well taken. Where do you come down on the concept of Do Not Mail proposals?