At Forty-Six Cents a Pop, Why Doesn’t the Postal Service Make Money?

16 February 2013

16 February 2013

More than a week ago on Slate, Brian Palmer posed the following questions:

Why Doesn’t the Postal Service Make Money? What do UPS and FedEx know that the USPS doesn’t?”*

These frequently heard questions seem deliberately determined to undermine a fine, government program that has served America since its founding, by making an odd, apples-to-oranges comparison.

I can send a letter from where I sit, here in Bee Cave, Texas (78738), all the way to Barrow, Alaska (99723) or  Mililani, Hawaii (96789) for 46¢, and it will arrive in a day or two.

When was the last time that UPS and FedEx delivered a letter for 46¢? When was the first time either private company did this? Even back in their founding days (1971 for FedEx; 1907 for UPS, which started as a parcel service in Seattle).

Why doesn’t the Postal Service make money, indeed?

Forget about Congress’s requirement that the USPS fully fund all its pension obligations up front. Forget the requirement that the USPS visit every mail box receiving even a single piece of cut-rate “bulk” mail six or five days a week:

When’s the last time you mailed a letter using FedEx or UPS, and got change back from your dollar?

What’s missing here? Other than an ideological determination to undermine the constitutional mandate that the United States government provide postal service?

(($; -)}
*Why Doesn’t the Postal Service Make Money?
by Brian Palmer, Slate (02/07/2013 at 2:29 PM CT)


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