Success can create failure

Sometimes success creates failure.
Here in Fort Frances, as more people have turned to filling blue boxes, the volume of garbage at the landfill site declined. Revenue, in turn, declined.
In order to maintain the site, Fort Frances has had to increase tipping fees. The success of the blue box program has created funding problems for the landfill site.
The province, meanwhile, instituted various rates for charging electrical customers based on demands and the time of day. It encouraged consumers to choose off-peak hours to dry clothes, wash dishes, and do other chores around the home.
Industries and some commercial businesses were encouraged by electrical savings to choose to do manufacturing at night.
As a result of these changes in policy, Ontario residents found they could save money by adopting those practices. The government and Ontario Power Generation, however, became alarmed as they discovered that the demand for power had dropped dramatically and revenues had declined.
The solution was to hike the electrical rates, which are continuing to rise.
They also gambled that residents would demand more power and made deals to purchase power from wind, solar, and co-gen electrical producing companies at prices that greatly exceeded what they were selling the power to consumers at.
Today, that surplus power now is being sent south for rates less than consumer corporations and households are paying. It creates significant losses for the OPG, which again will raise rates to Ontario consumers.
Electrical conservation has worked too well—and now we pay the price.
Canada Post announced last week that it will phase out door-to-door mail delivery. Many homes, apartments, and condominiums no longer have door-to-door delivery and the change will save a great deal of labour costs.
With each increase in postage stamps, people chose to write fewer letters, as well as send fewer birthday and Christmas cards. Now with individual stamps soon to cost a “loonie,” an even bigger drop in first-class mail deliveries will occur.
The banks already have given their customers the choice of paying to receive their statements in the mail, or receiving them free of charge via the Internet.
Most people look at saving that “toonie” every month. Canada Post is being effective at weaning Canadians from their postal services.
Canada Post’s plan for success is to compete head-to-head with FedEx and UPS and their own corporation, Purolator. All three already are making money and Canada Post will have to steal business from these entrenched parcel delivery companies.
In many locations, the parcel companies actually operate warehouse fulfillment warehouses for Amazon and other Internet-based mail order companies.
Of course, Canada Post could never have imagined that fax machines would eliminate business order deliveries in the 1980s, that computers would eliminate letters in the 21st century, or that financial, cable, power, sewer and water corporations would find new ways for people to pay bills in the first decade of this century.
The success of the Internet and other new technologies have fulfilled “Murphy’s Rule of Unintended Consequences.”

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