In another Example of how well Government Runs Things, the U.S. Postal Service lost another $5.1 Billion

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 19th, 2011

Week in Review

More dismal news from the U.S. Postal Service (see Postal Service Logs Loss in Billions by JENNIFER LEVITZ posted 11/16/2011 on The Wall Street Journal).

The Postal Service said it lost $5.1 billion through Sept. 30 and that the loss would have hit $10.6 billion without recent legislation allowing it to delay a required annual $5.5 billion payment into a fund for future retiree health benefits. But the payment postponed by Congress is now due by Nov. 18, and the agency repeated that it could run out of cash by the end of fiscal 2012 without congressional action.

The Postal Service is an independent government agency whose operating budget isn’t funded by taxpayers, other than a subsidy to serve overseas voters and the disabled.

Postal Service heads said the agency could regain its financial footing by cutting annual costs by $20 billion by the end of 2015. The service “can become profitable again if Congress passes comprehensive legislation to provide us with a more flexible business model so we can respond better to a changing marketplace,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement.

In other words, this government agency could become profitable again if it quits being a government agency.  For one thing we’ve learned is that the government can’t run anything well.

But everyone is sure that the government should get more involved in regulating business.  And taking over health care.  Because…, well, I’m not sure why.  Because everything they run ends up like the Postal Service.

Total mail volumes fell by three billion pieces, or 1.7%, from 2010. First-class mail, the agency’s most profitable product, continued its steady decline as consumers continued to pay bills online and communicate digitally. The postal service lost more than $8 billion in fiscal year 2010. It has already begun closing post offices and some 300 mail-sorting facilities.

If you’re getting all nostalgic over losing some postal services don’t demand another government bailout.  If you want this dinosaur so badly pay a bill through the mail.  Or write a letter to a friend instead of texting.  If you can’t do these things than just admit it.  This is the march of technology.  And progress.  And you don’t need the Postal Service as it currently is.

Instead of bailing out the Postal Service we need to reinvent it.  Get a little free market capitalism in it.  For capitalism can fix anything.  If we let it.  It’s given us better ways to pay our bills.  And to communicate with our friends.  Just think what the Postal Service could do if that kind of thinking happened there.

But that will never happen if we keep trying to save the thing fewer and fewer want to use anymore.  It’s like insisting we maintain video cassette recorders (VCRs – I spelled it out the long way so the young people knew what those letters meant) in the world of video streaming.  There is just a better way to do things these days.  And people are choosing the better way.


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