I still live in an apartment where the mail is delivered to community boxes. The box is about 3 x 7 inches by 12 inches
deep, and will hold only so much mail. I don't always check the mail every day, and probable should. If for no other
reason then to insure that the mail that counts gets delivered. Why? Because every time I open the box it is stuffed,
and if not cleaned out where will the mailman put the over flow. If you are wondering, I do not conduct a business
through the mail, nor am I that popular. Mostly all I get is bills, and the rest is what we call junk mail. Which seems to
come from every business in town. If a medium size city dweller receives this much junk, can you imagine the mail box
in a large city.
One day I happened on the mailman while he was busy stuffing the boxes, and asked him if I could request no delivery
of the junk mail. He replied with a big, "NO", adding that they had to delivery it. Why? Because it has a stamp on it,
they paid for delivery. Unlike the Internet where mail can be blocked because it is free. So I stood there muttering
about the stupidity of the system, while I sorted the junk and through it into the trash cans provided by the apartment
Yes there are trash cans right in front of the mail boxes, so people will not just throw it on the ground. I could carry it
to my apartment and sort it there, but I would just have to carry it back to the dumpster in my trash. The fullness of
those cans attests to the fact that most people are not reading the advertisements. I don't know who dumps the cans, I
assume the maintenance man who is paid by the apartment house, and that cost is past on to us through raises in rent.
One of the problems caused by our society is to much trash going to the land fill. Many cities are making an effort to
decrease the trash by re-cycling plastic, paper, glass, metal, etc. The effectiveness is cut short with this practice of
advertising in the mail. There are many people who do read the ads, but they still end up in the trash. I have no idea
how many actually respond to the ads and buy something, but even a few customers increases the profits, and
encourages them to continue the mailings. The businesses don't care as the cost is deductible on their taxes as a
business expense. The US postal service doesn't mind since they are making all that profit.
This is only one source of the constant bombardment of advertisements we encounter daily. With news papers, and
magazines we have the choice of not buying or ignoring the ads in them. Then there is the fliers stuck on our cars,
home doors or knobs which we leave on the ground or put in the home trash.
Next biggie is Television which gripes me the most. When it began there was very little commercials, one in the
beginning, middle, and at the end of a program, which were only a few seconds long. Your reception was not that good
off the old antenna, but it was free. Now the programming is still freely broadcast, but you pay for the reception on
cable or dish. You get five minutes of show to three or four minutes of ads. There are even half to one hour long shows
that are just commercials, these are called info-commercials. I can not see anyone watching a half hour long
commercial. They will run anything if someone is willing to pay the price. Why bother running a new program or movie
when it is cheaper to run the repeats, and the advertiser still pays to sponsor them. This may not matter to those who
can afford to go out for their entertainment, but there are many who have little choice but TV.