Why Do We STILL Need a Government-run Post Office?

by Robert Arvay

There may have been a time when the federal government had a legitimate need for a monopoly on delivering the mail. Maybe. Possibly.
But with email, faxes, and FEDEX/UPS etc, it is insane to subsidize a system with billions of dollars, a system that charges too much and offers too little.
I remember that when emails first became highly popular, the US Postal Service was actually trying to find a way to collect a fee every time we emailed something. I remember when mailing a package, I was asked if there was a letter in the package – because if there was, I had to pay extra postage for that, in addition to the package.
I also remember the joke about overnight US Postal delivery service – when it absolutely positively had to be there overnight, the Post Office could absolutely positively get it there in about a week.
I remember talking to someone who got a job pushing a broom in a postal terminal – it paid approximately four times the going rate for janitors, and had gobs of benefits.
I remember when a postage stamp cost THREE CENTS.
According to the referenced MSNBC article, “In November, the Postal Service reported a net loss of $8.5 billion for fiscal year 2010, its fourth consecutive year of losses.”
Hmm… How much did Fed Ex and UPS lose? Oh. They made a profit. Could that possibly have something to do with being responsive to customer needs, and NOT getting a bailout?
One rationale for keeping the Post Office is that it costs the same to mail a letter across the street as it does across the country. But that’s not true. It costs much more to send the letter across country. It’s just that the additional cost is paid by people who are overcharged for local mail service. I have a feeling that if UPS/FedEx overcharged, they would be investigated – by the same government that mismanages the Post Office.
Also in the article: Joanne Veto, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service, said, “We know that we cannot look the same 10 years from now. The mail volume isn’t there. We have to adjust to keep up with the mail and customer needs.” [end excerpt]
Right you are Jane. You need to adjust… perhaps sell all US Postal assets to private concerns, end taxpayer subsidies, and let the market determine mail delivery prices – and not in ten years, but in the next ten minutes.


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