New Post Office Legislation

The United States Seneate has passed a bill to “save” the Post Office which reads like a kick-the-can document. It makes a few accounting changes but forbids any post offices closings and delivery changes for two years. And, it says nothing about postal rate increases that are necessary as part of any Post Office bail out program. This bill shows why the Post office has gotten into the position that it is in. Politcal considerations, added to rapid technological changes, have made the Post Office unprofitable. There are too many post offices. There are too many loss making destinations in America and a two or three tiered pricing system would be required if delivery costs were being considered in postal pricing. And our postal rates are very cheap compared to the rest of the world (with Switzerland being the highest in the developed world, charging 98c to deliver a first class letter). It is fine if America wants to spend its money subsidizing rural postal delivery. But to expect the Post Office to be profitable, hamper it with a non profit making agenda and then claiming that government doesn’t work is dishonest. The Post Office’s problems are not insoluable. They can be righted with a very simple series of business decisions. It is the polical problems though that are gumming up the works.

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