Further Evidence In Favor Of Postal Privatizationby Doug Mataconis
In case you haven’t heard, the Post Office wants to raise rates and make it easier for them to do it in the future:
WASHINGTON — Say goodbye to those pesky 1- and 2-cent stamps that used to clutter up desks and purses every time the price of mailing a letter went up. A new “forever” stamp _ good for mailing a letter no matter how much rates go up _ was recommended Monday by the independent Postal Regulatory Commission. The panel also called for a 2-cent increase in first-class rates to 41 cents, a penny less than the post office had sought.
Under legislation approved by Congress last year the commission will develop a new, less cumbersome system of raising rates for use in the future, and also has more authority to regulate postal activity.
Of course, if the Post Office were a private business, they wouldn’t need to ask Congress for permission to raise rates and they’d be better able to respond to the market. Instead we’ve got this system. Rates will go up to 41 cents, for now, but you can bet that they’ll keep going up as first-class mail becomes more and more of an anachronism.
So we could continue doing what we know doesn’t work, or we could try something new:
If you really want to fix the Postal Service, Senator, hereâ€™s what you need to do:
- Eliminate the USPS monopoly on first class and all other mail. Allow FedEx, UPS, DHL, and anyone else who wants to get into the game to deliver first class mail, magazines, or anything else to do so. In the long run, it will result in better service, more competitive pricing, and more innovation
- Eliminate the regulations that require the USPS to deliver first class mail at a uniform rate. It makes no sense that it costs the same to mail a letter from New York to Boston as it does to mail it from New York to Honolulu. Let the market decide how to price these services.
- Get the government out of the business of providing pensions to Postal Workers. We donâ€™t do it for the guys who work for Ford and General Motors, thereâ€™s no reason we should do it for the guys who deliver the mail.
All of this, and more, has been proposed before but Congress continues to try the same old solutions that never seem to work.
Yep, the same old story.