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Papows: Nice idea, but...

A reader writes that the suggestion that businesses switch to using only e-mail misses an important point: Half the country still doesn't own a computer.


Papows: Nice idea, but...

In response to the Nov. 5 column by Jeff Papows, "Time to switch permanently to e-mail":

While the article by Papows sounded good at first glance, it does not address the half of the country that does not own a computer. To advocate that the U.S. Postal Service is an anachronism destined to be obsolete does not recognize that for 227 years the mission has been to provide communication to everyone, everywhere, affordably, and the services does it six days a week on a regular basis. No other company sends a representative to every house and business in the country, because no other company has the unique mission of the U.S. Postal Service.

A couple of anthrax-tainted letters among 600 million pieces of mail per day does not mean that the system is broken or unsafe by any means. While I am sympathetic to the fact that several people died and a handful of others were affected, the incredibly small chance that the general public will come in contact with the current scare continues to be overblown by media writers like you. Fomenting fear while not acknowledging the small percentage of cases is irresponsible. I suppose if a terrorist tainted one well in the water supply in one city, you would come out with an editorial advocating banning faucets nationwide and saying that we all should drink only bottled water.

Do not throw common sense out the window. The direct-mail companies know that the USPS is the most economical way to get their pieces delivered. And the mail will go on, despite the recent incidents. E-mail will also grow, as will the time we spend deleting unwanted messages, not to mention dealing with viruses of the electronic sort, which do more damage to more computers than any conventional "virus" has to date.

Marc Daniloff
Saukville, Wis.