9.04.2009

USPS: A call for captialism

You put a letter in the mail box. You have paid your taxes. You have bought the more expensive stamps even though they told you that there would be a forever stamp.

They lose your mail.

It is a $3,000 reimbursement check.

You call the post office. The people on the phone are snotty and rude from the get go. You ask where your mail is. They don't know.

They never knew.

They throw your mail into a bag and hope to God that it reaches you.

You're pissed. They act like it isn't their fault. They don't care!!

If the United States Postal Service was not mandated by the constitution, would it still exist?

Wouldn't FedEx, UPS, and similar companies have a complete hold on the mail market? They guarantee their deliveries. They give tracking numbers regardless of the class of mail.

With tax support (with prop ups and grants, you know it is true.) and postage, one would expect adequate service.

Think about it. The USPS had a revenue of 74.932 billion dollars in 2008, and they were 2.806 billion dollars in the hole in 2008.

The USPS is a quasi-governmental organization. The mail service is free to operate as a profit driven business, but as if Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7 wasn't enough to screw Americans as USPS is granted a near monopoly over letter distribution according to modern interpretation of the constitution, the ability for the post office to still get public money and prop ups from national politicians really screws Americans out of adequate service.

Obviously, adequate information distribution was crucial to the emerging nation at the time of the Revolutionary War. With most colonists not looking beyond the borders of their colonies, there likely wouldn't have been anyone to step up and set up a mail service to serve the new country, and thus, the government needed to step in.

Times have changed. We have private mail services. United Parcel Service had a net income of 3 billion dollars in 2008 while the Postal Service was in the red.

Here is the kicker. United Parcel Service had 425, 300 employees in 2008 while the Postal Service has 656,000 employees. UPS delivered 4 billion packages and documents in 2007 while the postal service only delivered 212.234 million packages and documents in the same year.

It is no secret that much of the USPS is a "closed shop." More employees and significantly less delivery volume. Is there featherbedding? Furthermore, if the postal workers are unionized, that likely explains why they care so little about being cordial and providing adequate service.

Rarely do I stand in a position where I want radical changes to the constitution, but it is time that the Postal Service and its inefficient, impersonal monopoly is allowed to falter and dismantle.