The USPS and Price Increases

The United States Postal Service lost more than $560 million in the previous quarter (!), and it wants a pay raise to pay for it, a rise in the price of stamps by a penny.  Now, a penny might not seem like much, especially against the current price for a first class stamp on a 1oz letter, but it is symptomatic of a much larger problem: the USPS, a protected monopoly in the first class mail niche and so lacking actual competition and associated innovative pressures, is a money-losing (to the tune of two and a quarter billion dollars each year) proposition.

Postmaster General Megan Brennan:

America deserves a financially stable postal service that can continue to play a vital role in our economy and society[.]

Yewbetcha.  And the USPS ain’t it.

The postal service has lost money for 10 years in a row. It says the continuing red ink hurts consumers because it can’t make necessary investments to ensure “prompt, efficient and reliable postal services,” such as by updating delivery trucks and equipment.

Once again, the USPS, with its empirical performance, is making the argument for disbanding it and replacing it with competitive private enterprises in a free market economy.  Sort of like the protected monopoly Ma Bell was replaced, the USPS needs—the American people need—that replacement (who pays a dime a minute for a long distance call anymore?  Who needs to pay half a buck to send a letter?).

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