creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Daily Editorials
19 Sep 2014
A Canadian-Brazilian Whopper, Hold the Taxes and Jobs

So who's up for a Rio-Toronto Whopper? Burger King, owned by 3G Capital, the same Brazilian billionaires who … Read More.

19 Sep 2014
Big Trouble for Democrats Should Be Cautionary Tale

It's official: Democrats are in trouble. Start with a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday that shows Colorado … Read More.

18 Sep 2014
Higher Costs May Decrease Public Safety

Everything is getting more expensive, even the cost of keeping the public safe. But while inflation is often … Read More.

Privatize the Post Office

Comment

The U.S. Postal Service has increased rates so often in recent years that they came out with the Forever Stamp, which is good for a first-class mailing into the indefinite future. On July 6, the USPS proposed another increase, a two-cent hike, to 46 cents, in 2011. That's a 4 percent increase. Rates for other types of postage would increase a similar amount. After review by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the rate increases then must be approved by the Postal Service Board of Governors.

The proposal comes on the heels of increases in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. As recently as 2005, a first-class stamp cost only 37 cents. So if the 46-cent rate is approved, that would mean a 24 percent increase in just six years.

Meanwhile, the Internet and text messaging on mobile devices continue to demolish the USPS's mainstays of personal letters and bill-paying. According to a report by the Newspaper Association of America, USPS mail volume has declined 17 percent, or 36 billion pieces, in three years. Its deficit for fiscal 2010, which ends Sept. 20, is projected at $7 billion. That means Congress would have to bail out the USPS with tax money.

To deal with its problems, the USPS has proposed eliminating Saturday delivery, saving $3 billion a year; although the PRC says the savings would be $2 billion.

The proposed stamp-rate increase would bring in an estimated $2.3 billion for the first nine months of 2011.

"Only with a government service would you increase prices and decrease customer service in the face of declining demand for your service," Tad DeHaven told us; he's a federal budget analyst at the Cato Institute and next month will publish a research paper on the USPS.

What's needed, he said, is competition — ending the USPS's monopoly on first-class mail. UPS, FedEx and other services can compete on delivering packages, but not on first-class mail. "Other countries, especially in Europe, are starting to liberalize their postal services. In the United Kingdom, they're selling shares in Royal Mail," that country's postal service.

He said there are two choices. First is subsidization by Congress, meaning taxpayers would be forced to underwrite a bloated government bureaucracy. The other choice is privatization, bringing to bear the efficiencies and innovation of the marketplace.

We would add that USPS workers should not fear privatization. As with other businesses grappling with the information revolution, change will be difficult — but essential, and transforming.

REPRINTED FROM THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER.

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



Comments

0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Newspaper Contributors
Sep. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
About the author About the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 22 Sep 2014
Mark Shields
Mark ShieldsUpdated 20 Sep 2014
Suzanne Fields
Suzanne FieldsUpdated 19 Sep 2014

5 Sep 2013 Approve Syrian Attack Only With Clear, Sound Objective

27 Nov 2013 Cholesterol Risk Calculator Is too Risky

28 Oct 2011 Two Special Forces Missions to Africa Raise Questions of Limits