Terrorism: November 12, 2001


The US Post Office was in trouble (facing a $1.68 billion deficit this year) before the 11 September attacks, and is in worse shape now. The cost of the sudden drop in mail (and a major post office heavily damaged near Ground Zero) was $300 million. The cost of investigating, testing, and cleaning equipment will be a hundred million, not to mention the cost of lost work (absenteeism skyrockets at mail centers where anthrax is found) and falling revenue from businesses disrupted by the attack and the subsequent war. Postal worker union officials predict that the cost of new security measures will exceed a billion dollars. The Bush Administration just paid $175 million for electron scanners for the postal centers at the greatest risk, the first time taxpayer dollars have gone to the Post Office since 1982. The anthrax problem will have its biggest impact (perhaps a billion dollars) on the junk mail industry, which now fears most of its offerings will be taken to the trash by gloved hands of terrified individual recipients. 


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