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Close the Postal Service

The head of the US Postal Service is claiming that they could default as early as this winter unless the US Congress steps in.  I think that Congress should step in – but only to make sure that there is no default and that there is a graceful closing of the USPS.  There was a time when the government had to step in to deliver the mail because every commercial attempt failed.  The Pony Express, for example, only lasted from April 3, 1860 to October 1861.  No one could make a go of delivering the mail.

I hope that someone can correct me, but I just don’t see what social purpose the US Postal Service serves anymore. For sure it served a very needed function but it would seem to me that with email, FedEx, UPS, etc., that function is no longer needed.  In our current economic situation, I believe that jobs programs are needed,  but they must provide some value (fix roads, build bridges, etc.).  The postoffice, in my view, provides nothing.

I live in a cul-de-sac with a total of eight houses.  There is one large box which contains all of the mail boxes for this small area.  A few days ago one of the neighbors opened up his box to retrieve the mail.  When lots and lots of mail fell out, I commented about how popular he is was.  He responded that he and his wife check the mail maybe once or twice a week.  There is nothing but advertisements.  He gets his magazines, as well as The Washington Post on his iPad and his bills are sent directly to the bank.  His children probably have never written a letter in their lives.

These advertisers don’t pay much.  So, can’t the postal service simply raise their rates?  After all, they are the ones who use it – not us.  What would be wrong with that?  Well, apparently quite a bit.  They pay lots of money to their lobbyists so that Congress can be “enlightened” to realize that it is us poor suckers that need to pay for the junk that they send.

My wife and I were in Holland a couple of years ago.  We walked through a residential area and I noticed some signs on each mailbox.  My Dutch is a little rusty but our guide was happy to enlighten us.  Basically, the residents of Holland have a say in what type of mail they are willing to receive – such as ONLY items that are addressed to a resident of that house, etc.  What a good idea!

Do we suppose that our congress could come up with something so brilliant? In these times when a large number of the American population seems to be looking for the dumbest political candidate they can find, well I just don’t think so.

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