Tuesday, March 23, 2021

It is Time to Privatize the Post Office and...

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

 ...allow competition in the delivery of first class mail.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will deliver no joy to lovers of first class mail.

He will unveil on Tuesday the largest rollback of consumer mail services in a generation as part of his 10-year plan for the U.S. Postal Service, the Washington Post reports.

The rollbacks will include:

  •  longer first-class mail delivery times 
  •  reduced post office hours
  •  higher prices.
DeJoy told a House panel last month that he expects the agency will lose $160 billion over the next 10 years.

“Does it make a difference if it’s an extra day to get to get a letter?” DeJoy told the House Oversight and Reform Committee in February. “Because something has to change. We cannot keep doing the same thing we’re doing.”

But, of course, because there are no free market price signals with a government agency, we have no idea what free market services would look like. 

A large part of the problem is the powerful American Postal Workers Union which results in the post office providing wages and benefits far out of line with free-market wages and benefits. The union just has too much ability to influence lawmakers. 

This is a primary example of how government centrally planned operations fall prey to the crony influence of those close to those that make the laws.

In the private sector, the operations are much cleaner.

The only questions asked in the private sector are: What do our customers want and can we provide it profitably?

"Can we provide it profitably?" means: Can we bid for laborers and materials at a profit--indicating that  demand is the strongest demand out there relative to other bidders?

It is time to privatize the post office and allow competition in the delivery of first class mail.


  1. “'Does it make a difference if it’s an extra day to get to get a letter?'”
    That should be the official motto of the USPS, visible everywhere, as a stark reminder of difference in creeds between the public sector and the private sector; the former is basically "let's get this over with," while the latter is "the customer is always right."
    Imagine if Thomas Edison's attitude was "Does it make a difference if a light bulb shines for only 10 hours instead of 2,000 hours?"

  2. “Does it make a difference if it’s an extra day to get to get a letter?”

    -- If that doesn't sum up the state sector perfectly. Imagine Walmart saying "Does it make a difference if the shelf is empty when you get there?"

  3. The same old-same old. The market has been chipping away at USPS for decades despite its monopoly status. Who sends first class letters that can be sent electronically or as part of a UPS or FedEx parcel?

  4. I have the impression that this decline in mail service is being used to push everyone into on-line payments. Mail service has hit a serious decline since the pandemic. I've had bills lost in the mail and show up late. One of my vendors told me that I shouldn't rely on the post office and I needed to move to on-line payments. They were only going to refund my late fee one time. Then, the state required me to make a permit fee on-line, and returned my mailed in payment. I made the payment on-line, and they charged me $7 to do so.

  5. Surely the fact that almost forty percent of their workforce is vibrant has absolutely nothing to do with this.

  6. The US post office needs to be dismantled and let the market decide if hauling letters here and there is even profitable.
    90% of what they deliver seems to be junk mail that hits the garbage on the way out of the post office.

  7. There are price signals with a government agency. We can see its revenues and expenses and tell that it's a loser, even with tax subsidies. We can see stamp prices too.