Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Only 5 more weekdays to go.

The U.S. Postal Service lost $8.5 billion last year. It's on pace to do even worse this year, losing $3 billion last quarter alone. The Obama administration has proposed ending Saturday delivery as a way to close the financial gap. Notably, his plan does not consider any layoffs. Why? If we reduce the delivery schedule nearly 20%, won't labor needs decrease as well? If Wal-Mart was closed every Sunday, it wouldn't need as many employees, right? Then again, Wal-Mart is not a unionized bureaucracy with a federally guaranteed monopoly on the service it provides.

This plan won't fix the Postal Service any more than when Regan "fixed" Social Security in the early 1980s, although they're based on the same principle - charging more while delivering less. In fairness to Obama's propsal, we don't have a mandate that at least 15% of everyone's email must be sent through the Postal Service. Yet.

I understand that delivering mail on Saturdays is inefficient. Delivering the mail any day is inefficient. And don't forget, the delivery schedule has already been chopped in half - the mail used to come twice daily. Even if the Postal Service somehow overcame those inefficiencies, it is still doomed to failure. Federal law requires the Postal Service to deliver mail to everyone regardless of origin or destination. Sending mail from Middle of Nowhere Alaska to Florida obviously costs more than sending it across town. But the Postal Service is prohibited by law from charging a different price to do so. That doesn't make sense and guarantees inefficiency. It has the same flaw as requiring medical insurance providers to provide coverage to everyone for the same rate regardless of age or medical condition.

And what about the fuel? The Postal Service has the largest passenger vehicle fleet on the world. Liberals should be fuming over the carbon footprint. Conservatives should be furious about the gas.

The U.S. Postal Service should be abolished. The vast majority of mail I personally receive is unsolicited advertising. I'm not alone. Almost everything else could and would be delivered differently if the Postal Service disappeared. FedEx and UPS could still ship packages and vital documents more efficiently. They already do. Much of the non-vital paper mail would shift to online delivery. The junk would either shift online or cease completely.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:No mail delivery on Saturdays? Well, it's a start.

No comments: