Post Office - business or service??

The postmaster general - not its not just a nickname from college, or the NBA, its a real job - just announced that demand for first class mail is slipping and will likely never recover from the recession as demand shifts to alternatives. Sounds just like my industry (refining).

That said - he pointed out that the Post Office is going to lose a lot more that expected because of this. By 2020 it will have lost $220 billion or so.

Which had me scratching my unusally large, already graying and slightly odd-shaped head.

Why would the post office - something I regard as a service - lose more if it delivers less? To me, this felt like saying there will be fewer people on welfare, so it will cost more.

But here's the rub. The Post office really should be run as a business - because it has huge capital costs and a massive work force.

So the question I pose is if the post office is really vital? Sure, Christmas and Birthday cards are nice, and once a year I might get a postcard, maybe, from someone somewhere. But mostly it is just bills in the mail, and junk mail, and magazines. I rarely send anything other than packages, which I could just as easily send with UPS or FedEx....

So I ask you. If we privatized the post office and postage rates doubled - would it really affect you that much? Remember - that's $220 billion for other programs (how about for the national debt?) or lower taxes.

I am also for a private Amtrak, but if that is done then something needs to be done about the rails. Because there is no damn reason that roads are free for truckers and bus companies to use, but rails cost money for Amtrak and the freight companies. Its a historical accident that sorely needs to be fixed.

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